By Nikki Brahm
The 2017 NEWSPA conference will be held April 26 at UW Oshkosh, and will feature 35 sessions and speakers covering a variety of topics, including how to be a better writer or photographer, graphic design basics and careers.
The conference, held in the UW Oshkosh Alumni Welcome and Conference Center and in the Gruenhagen Conference Center, is open with free admission for all UW Oshkosh journalism students. Download the schedule here.
“It’s a great chance to meet some professionals and to hear from people who our working in the field,” said NEWSPA Executive Secretary Barbara Benish.
The keynote presentation will begin at 11 a.m. and feature Pulitzer Prize winners Mark Johnson, a reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Gary Porter, a former photographer at the Journal Sentinel who is now freelancing. The two were part of a team who won the 2011 Pulitzer for explanatory journalism.
Pulitzer Prize reporter Raquel Rutledge will also be speaking, as well as presenting students with $1,000 in cash prizes in NEWSPA’s first-ever In the Pulitzer Tradition Writing Contest, which coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes. Rutledge judged the 12 entries in this special competition. In addition, more than 100 students will take home certificates of recognition in the regular NEWSPA newspaper and yearbook competition. This year, schools submitted more than 600 student entries.
Benish said about 350 students and advisers from about 25 schools generally participate in the annual spring conference, which also awards a $500 scholarship to a student planning to study journalism in college.
“What’s exciting is the number of journalism students who are helping to put this event together,” Benish said. “Students in Reporting and Writing for the Media will be writing stories for our fall newsletter, and students in Dr. Kristine Nicolini’s PR Techniques class have been put in charge of NEWSPA’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and will be helping run the event.” Those students will be live tweeting at the conference, writing some stories for the fall newsletter, and taking photos to use in the newsletter, NEWSPA website or Facebook page.
In addition, students in Dr. Sara Steffes Hansen’s Application of New and Emerging Media class are updating the NEWSPA website, which will allow schools to register for the conference online and submit articles and photos electronically for the various NEWSPA contests.